Adam Lambert has a lot of reasons for not wanting this pre-American Idol album released. There's the fact that its very existence possibly calls into question his Idol eligibility and exposes bad blood with former associates. And there's "MP3s Killed the Record Companies," which sounds like a mashup of "Video Killed the Radio Star" and "We Didn't Start the Fire." But bearing in mind that these are rough, youthful tracks, the real takeaway from Beg for Mercy is Lambert's jaw-dropping talent. He maintains a skillful balance of pop hooks, priggish runs, glammy riffs and rock arrogance so that tracks like "Rough Trade" feel both theatrical and authentic. And those fierce, formidable pipes? It's all there -- and nothing to be ashamed of.
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